student looking out a window

The social life of the average American student, especially those between the ages of 18-24, is often riddled with exposure to addictive behavior. There are many opportunities to partake in binge drinking, ecstasy, hallucinating on mushrooms or LSD, smoking marijuana and use opiates such as Percodan and Oxycodone on campus. In order to keep up with course loads, part-time employment, and their social life, they may also overstimulate themselves on Adderall, Ritalin and other amphetamines.

Alcohol and drug abuse on college campuses is rampant, and there are many reasons why a student may turn to drugs and become at risk for addiction.

  • The need to relieve social anxiety, fit in with peers, and drop social inhibitions may have students turning to alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and ecstasy.
  • The need to escape an overwhelming workload and deal with the anxiety of meeting so many deadlines might have them turning to mood-altering, sedating drugs such as alcohol, marijuana, and opiates like heroin and Oxycodone.
  • The need to stay alert during class or complete an essay while being very tired from working or partying may have them turning to addictive stimulants like dextroamphetamine, methamphetamine, and Adderall.
  • The need to feel thin and beautiful may have some students, especially female students, turning to cocaine, dextroamphetamine, and methamphetamine in order to lose weight.

The fact is that excessive alcohol and drug abuse on campus is normalized, putting students at much more risk for addiction, especially if they are between the ages of 18 and 24.

How Can Drug Counseling Help Students

It is important to remember that most students that become addicted to drugs or alcohol never made that a life goal. Addiction is something that is the result of prolonged substance abuse, and often the person who is addicted has a life that has become unmanageable. Usually, the student may even recognize that they need to quit the substance, but are unable to because the symptoms of withdrawal would disrupt everything in their lives.

To simply put it, drug or alcohol rehab is required for the student whose addictive behavior has resulted in an inability to work, maintain relationships or take care of one’s self. The need to use becomes the main priority in life, and nothing else matters. Attending classes, completing essays, and self-care, in general, are the least of the addict’s concerns. Furthermore, the student who is succumbing to addiction may feel ashamed and powerless to change things, thus creating a vicious cycle where they do not feel psychologically or physically well unless they are using. Unfortunately, it is the drugs or alcohol that is causing these feelings in the first place.

Drug treatment can help students by:

  • Taking them through the process of detoxification and withdrawal in a medically supervised environment.
  • Helping them understand why they use substances, so they are not triggered to use again by memories, events or peer pressure.
  • Teaching the psychological skills needed to maintain sobriety.
  • Teaching them socialization skills so that they do not have to use in to order to feel comfortable meeting other people.
  • Teaching them time management skills so that they can manage their heavy course loads.
  • Reminding them of how to take care of themselves physically and psychologically, so they do not have to use drugs to stay alert, sleep or lose weight.

Top treatment centers will tailor the program to the needs of the individual student, with an eye to offering solutions for those with a dual diagnosis such as addiction combined with anxiety, bipolar disorder, or eating disorders.

Alcohol Treatment for College Students

Alcohol treatment for college students can include many different approaches, but the main four are:

  1. Detoxification followed by a Twelve-Step program is the traditional process, in which individuals admit that their life has become unmanageable due to their addiction and that they must follow certain steps to stay sober.
  2. SMART recovery, based on purely scientific methods of recovering from addiction, without a spiritual component.
  3. Dual diagnosis recovery is for students who may be using alcohol to self-medicate another condition such as anxiety, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, which may require the prescription of lifestyle changes and medications.
  4. Holistic recovery, which relies on non-prescription remedies, holistic treatment, adjustments, and diet and lifestyle changes.

Alcohol treatment for college students might include aftercare in which individual counseling and group therapy meetings might be suggested along with music therapy, equine therapy or art therapy.

Drug Counseling for College Students

It is time for drug rehab when the student is going to extreme measures to obtain the drug, engaging in a careless behavior, failing at school, concealing the drug use, and maybe even experiencing legal troubles as a result of drug dependency. These are sure signs that the addiction has affected the brain and that it may be time or inpatient or outpatient treatment.

Drugs work by rewiring the brain’s pleasure centers, often causing the brain to produce dopamine, which creates a sense of wellbeing. Drugs also affect the parts of the brain that control mood, motivation, emotion, judgment, movement, reaction time, memory, alertness, and sleep. The more the brain becomes reliant on a substance, the more the addict must search it out and use it to feel functional and well.

Drug treatment for college students is similar to alcohol counseling for college students except the detoxification process might be a bit more medically complicated. This is especially true if the student was addicted to a couple of drugs at once, such as amphetamines to stay awake and opiates to go to sleep. If the student has been using heroin or cocaine, medications such as methadone and suboxone might be used to lessen some of the severe withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, depression, fever, insomnia, and trembling.

Students recovering from drug addiction also benefit from many types of therapy including expressive art therapy, educational therapy, individual therapy and family counseling as well as participation in ongoing relapse prevention groups and activities.

Ultimately drug and alcohol counseling for college students can help them get back on track with their studies and prevent them from squandering tuition, opportunities, and time that they have already invested in their future. Call us today at 888-984-3284 to learn more.